Hello and welcome to another edition of Seanomaniac Wrestling Reviews! The only wrestling review series on the internet that continues to ruin your night more than Christian bringing up your dead dad! It’s time for WWE Royal Rumble 2009, the road to Wrestlemania is here! We have some huge matches here tonight, we of course we have The Royal Rumble match where 30 superstars will compete for the chance to main event Wrestlemania! Rounding out the card we have John Cena defending his WWE World Heavyweight Championship against JBL who has Shawn Michaels in his corner, we have ECW Championship match with Matt Hardy against Jack Swagger, we also have Jeff Hardy defending his WWE Championship against Edge! So big matches up and down the card, the big story going into this one though is Randy Orton has punt kicked Mr. Mcmahon into oblivion, a shot heard around the world and it’s so obvious who the company is positioning for the Wrestlemania Main Event but let’s see how it plays out!
(ECW World Heavyweight Championship Match) Matt Hardy vs Jack Swagger ©
Well they did the title change on an episode of ECW, not sure if that is the best way to build up Swagger but alright so Swagger came in like a house of fire and just like Kozlov, Swagger is an undefeated opponent that Matt Hardy has to face. Crowd did love Matt Hardy and were fans of the former ECW Champion, I wouldn’t say it was Matt at his most beloved but definitely a close second to when The Hardys were teaming together in the early 2000s.
That ECW belt looks horrific btw, one of the worst designs I think they ever had. Hardy locks-up with Swagger, Hardy gives a clean break. Hardy nails two big rights, Swagger rolls to the floor. Hardy is in pursuit, Swagger is bounced off the ring. Clothesline by Hardy, Swagger executes his game plan using his wrestling credentials to bring Hardy to the mat. Hammerlock from Swagger, loud Hardy chants from the crowd. Swagger continues rolling Hardy with the hammerlock, Hardy escapes the hold and lands a bulldog and dropkick. Hardy is whipped to the buckle, Swagger pushes Hardy off the top rope. Hardy is holding his left-arm, shoulder thrusts and wrenches from Swagger. Shoulder block knocks down Hardy for two, Hardy fights back but Swagger tries to pull his arm out of the socket. Boot floors Hardy for two, Swagger continues to wrench the arm before a clothesline from Hardy takes down Swagger.
Swagger is booted in the head, comeback clotheslines by Hardy. Neck-breaker for two, Irish whip to the buckle and a running bulldog for two. Hardy is on the middle rope, elbow to the back of the head for two. Hardy’s suplex attempt is blocked, single arm DDT for two. Swagger looks for a belly to back suplex, Hardy backs off Swagger. Hardy wants a moonsault for two, Twist of Fate is blocked. Swagger blocks Side Effect too, Hardy is tossed into the ring-post. Swagger calls for his finish, Hardy is limp. Gut-wrench Powerbomb and it’s over!
Oh sloppy ending there, not sure if Swagger did himself any favors with management there, solid story between the two though. The arm was worked on throughout the match, it was also what was worked on in their prior championship match so I am happy with that, Swagger hammerlocks and DDTs the arm and it plays into the finish, happy days there but Swagger was very slow and awkward on that finish. Maybe Swagger thought Hardy would come out to him or if Hardy would help position himself but Swagger just kind of sits and waits and watches and it ends up being a very awkward experience. Camera focuses on Matt Hardy following the loss, this could be Hardy questioning whether he wants to continue down this path as it was such a crushing loss.
Winner: Jack Swagger over Matt Hardy via Gut-Wrench Powerbomb!
(WWE Women’s Championship Match) Beth Phoenix © vs Melina
Can you believe WWE every tried to make Melina a babyface ace of a division? Side headlock by Melina, Beth counters with strength. Fans chant for Santino, Beth reverses the hold before Melina lands a dropkick. Shoulder block by Beth, Melina eats an uppercut. Melina wants an arm-bar but Beth is fighting it off, Melina looking for a cross-armbreaker but Beth sits up with Melina and tosses her to the corner. Melina lands a knee, Beth shoves off Melina who holds her ribs in pain. Hip splash in the corner by Beth, Melina is yanked out of the corner by her hair for two. Single leg crab by Beth, Beth pulls her back and uses Melina’s flexibility against her by smashing the back of her head with her foot.
Impressive spot, Beth boots Melina in the head. Referee is very concerned for Melina, kick to the head by Melina. Sidewalk slam by Beth for two, military press slam is countered by Melina. She wanted something but it fell apart, jaw-breaker by Melina. Comeback from Melina, sunset flip for two. Drop toehold into the ropes, knees to the spine and a face-buster for two. Beth shoves Melina to the corner, Melina kicks away Beth. Middle rope Lou Thesz Press, Melina misses her face-buster. Irish whip, Beth is going for the Glam Slam but Melina slips out for a victory roll for the win.
That’s it? That’s how the reign of Beth ends? Just like that? At the Rumble? Melina was not even on the last PPV, I thought Mickie was considered the big babyface of the division? Well the fans cared more about Santino which was typical of this era, the leg spot was great though because it focused the fans but not a soul in that arena thought Melina was winning that match including me.
Winner: Melina over Beth Phoenix via Roll-Up!
(WWE World Heavyweight Championship Match) John Cena © vs JBL W/ Shawn Michaels
Before Cena was injured, JBL managed to squeeze out a victory against the champion in a street fight. Shawn Michaels is here as HBK burned through all his money so JBL is providing financial support for The Heartbreak Kid.
Side headlock by Cena to start out, JBL struggles to break free. Knees and side headlock by JBL, JBL rolls to the floor and talks strategy with HBK. HBK is unmoved by the words of JBL but JBL is going to do what he wants to do. Right hands in the corner by JBL, Cena reverses an Irish whip and lands a bulldog for two. Throwback for two, JBL powders and looks to talk to HBK once again. Cena is coming to the floor, Cena runs into HBK and just that moment of hesitation leads to JBL wiping out Cena. Right hand from JBL rocks Cena, short-clothesline by JBL for two. Elbows by JBL, two for the challenger. Cena fights back but a sidewalk slam cuts off Cena’s comeback, tough times for the champion currently with JBL continuing to dominate this match.
JBL shoulder blocks Cena to the floor, Cena is whipped hard into the steel steps. In the corner, JBL lands measured blows. Cena stops a superplex attempt, JBL is knocked off the top rope and back to the canvas. Kobashi-style leg drop by Cena, two for Cena. JBL goes to the ropes, Cena charges in and meets a boot from JBL. JBL goes for a Clothesline but Cena tackles JBL to the ground. JBL is bounced off the buckle twice before a series of shoulder blocks and a belly to back slam from Cena. Cena wants that five-knuckle shuffle, massive shot to the head of JBL. FU is blocked with an elbow to the eye, another big kick to the face by JBL. JBL wants the clothesline but Cena trips up JBL and has The STFU!
Michaels looks on emotionless, HBK holds onto the ropes and it draws a reaction from Cena. Cena kicks at HBK and gets distracted, JBL kicks Cena to the floor. Cena & HBK are locking eyes, JBL takes advantage with a Clothesline From Hell! 1…2… Cena kicks out! JBL stares down HBK and this allows Cena to recover, FU attempt is blocked by JBL and JBL boots down the referee by mistake. We have a double clothesline spot, HBK is on the apron! What will The Heartbreak Kid do here? The fans are definitely into it, what will Michaels do in this situation?
HBK looks on at both men, HBK is thinking Sweet Chin Music but for who? JBL is knocked out with a brutal Sweet Chin Music! Cena cannot believe it, the leader of The Cenation is smirking, HBK knocks both men out! A Sweet Chin Music finds the mark on Cena, HBK is placing JBL on top of Cena! How could this happen? HBK is thinking about what he is doing, HBK is walking away seemingly satisfied with his actions. Where is the referee? Where is anyone? What is this carnage? We have a new referee, 1…2… Cena kicks out! Both men are selling the effects of that devastating Sweet Chin Music, JBL is showing a bit more life than Cena. JBL has Cena by the wrist though, it could be clothesline time but Cena counters into the FU and this match is over.
I do love a good Bradshaw match, the man might be one of the biggest bullies to ever walk around the WWE locker room but his style is rough and he’s a big bastard who hits hard. Completely different vibe to the Jericho match here with JBL just beating on Cena, forcing Cena to sell whether he wants to or not. This match also has the added drama of HBK at ringside, the pay-off of HBK knocking out JBL was great, fans love that angle so it will be interesting to see how it continues with Taker vs HBK looming for Wrestlemania. Better title match here for Cena than the previous two, hoping that Cena can continue this momentum into the rest of Wrestlemania season.
Winner: John Cena over JBL via FU!
(WWE Championship Match) Jeff Hardy © vs Edge
Edge is considered the prime suspect as Jeff Hardy was attacked in his hotel room, leading to The Rated-R Superstar capturing the WWE Championship once more. However, Edge’s championship reign was short-lived as Jeff Hardy would capture the championship at Armageddon. One month later, the two will do battle for the championship, poor Triple H getting shafted eh?
Chavo is here at ringside but this match starts with Jeff Hardy stomping the life out of Edge, all that rage is pouring out of Jeff. Loud Christian chants, smart crowd here tonight as it was all the rage of The Observer at this time. Clothesline by Hardy, Edge is whipped to the ropes and bails, a chase ensues but Hardy has a chair. Edge boots the chair in Hardy’s face, Hardy is on the apron. Loud Hardy chants, Hardy leapfrogs out of the corner and clotheslines Edge. Dropkick to the spine for two, scoop slam and kicks by Hardy. Edge goes low and fights back, clubbing blows to the back. Edge is outsmarted by Hardy and gets kicked in the face, a plancha fake followed by a nice apron clothesline by Hardy. Chavo distracts Hardy and Edge lands a big boot to the face of the champion, if only Hardy had someone who would have his back?
Baseball slide by the challenger, Edge whips Hardy into the barricade. Hardy is bounced off the announce tables, Edge poses in the ring. Two off an elbow drop, Edge measures Hardy and kicks the champion hard in the ribs. Irish whip to the buckle with a spear by Edge, Hardy shows signs of life with a sunset flip but Edge is quickly back in control. Body-scissors by Edge, Hardy escapes but Edge nails a huge dropkick to the ribs. Edge grabs two chairs at ringside, this is not looking good for the champion. Hardy manages to spear Edge off of the apron! Huge move by Hardy, Hardy goes for it all with a massive Twist of Fate on the apron. Hardy begins to look for a big move on the announcer table here, Hardy is looking for a ladder. You knew it was coming, this is Jeff Hardy.
Hardy places the ladder near the announcer table, Edge is punched in the head and placed on the announcer’s table. Chavo gets involved and is smacked off the ladder, diving clothesline by Hardy. Edge is thrown into the ring-post, Hardy is not happy with Chavo. Chavo is smacked onto the announcer table, Hardy lands an awkward looking splash through the table. Diving crossbody for two in the ring, Edge reverses an Irish whip and lands a massive big boot. Edge exposes the top turnbuckle, Edge is hobbling over to Hardy. Hardy blocks the buckle and nails a Whisper In The Wind for two. Hardy is showing frustration now, Twist of Fate is countered for The Edgecution. 1….2… Hardy kicks out! Hardy has a small package for a very close two, sit-out suplex face-buster from Hardy.
Hardy cannot position Edge for the Swanton, Edge rolls to the opposite corner. Edge avoids the slingshot dropkick by grabbing Hardy and landing a flapjack onto the exposed turnbuckle, two for Edge. Edge snaps and wants the spear, Hardy counters into a beautiful Twist of Fate! Hardy is climbing high, Vickie Guerrero is here. Hardy kicks her away, Swanton Bomb connects! Hardy crawls and crawls, 1……2…. Vickie Guerrero pulls out the referee. Hardy is irate, Matt Hardy is here with a chair. Vickie is thrown into the ring, Matt Hardy has a chair. Matt Hardy hands Jeff Hardy the chair, Matt stops Jeff and says we should do a Con-Chairto but wait! Matt Hardy cracks Jeff Hardy in the head with the chair! Matt has knocked out his brother! Edge is in shock, Edge cannot believe it but Edge is happy to take the pin and we have a new WWE Champion!
So the story about this one is that the rumor of Christian rejoining the WWE had gotten out and it just seemed too predictable that Christian would join his brother Edge so WWE went in a very different direction with Matt Hardy turning on his brother Jeff and handing the title to Edge. I think Jeff deserved more than being a transitional champion, the crowd reactions and momentum and time put into him warranted more but you could argue that this was during a time where RAW scripts weren’t ripped up just before they went live, Mcmahon had a plan for Mania well in advance and didn’t see Jeff Hardy as a main event at Mania. As for Matt turning, I could buy it. I don’t know if I could buy into Matt as a heel but his brother eclipsing him, yeah I can relate to that and feel that on an emotional level. Matt had done a good job of getting himself over as ECW Champion but it wasn’t the World Championship of the company, Jeff had accomplished what Matt could never do in his wildest dreams and it ate away at him. As for this match itself, Edge boots Jeff around like a big man which is very weird for me to watch because I just don’t recall Edge ever being that imposing but he’s a big boy, the heat segments are exactly enthralling and the match is not loaded with weapons for a good smoke and mirror effect, Jeff’s never going to be a top guy on offence, Jeff’s strength is his selling and his wild moves. We get the wild moves here with the ladder dive which is insane looking back now as the referee didn’t even help Jeff, it was up to Jeff to nail that and diving off a ladder is never a good idea, you have to fall. If you try to dive, shit can go wrong and it almost did as Jeff caught just enough of Chavo to make it look good. Overall the angle overshadows the match and I think that’s for the best, Edge vs Jeff Hardy without smoke and mirrors doesn’t sound all that good to me.
Winner: Edge over Jeff Hardy via Chair-Shot To The Head!
Royal Rumble Match
One of my favourite matches of all-time! Thirty men will enter the ring for the chance to main event Wrestlemania, two men to begin and every 90 seconds a new competitor will enter the ring until all 30 men have entered. Eliminations occur by tossing your opponent over the top rope and both feet touching the floor, will try to break this up into segments so it is actually readable, wish me luck as always.
Entrants 1 to 5
We start with Mysterio and Morrison, Mysterio lands big kicks to the face before Morrison tries dumping out Mysterio with an atomic drop, Mysterio almost spills out very early. Morrison kicks and shoves at Mysterio but there is no moving Mysterio. Springboard crossbody by Mysterio, tilt-a-whirl head-scissors by Mysterio and Morrison is almost dumped out, Mysterio dropkicks Morrison who barely hangs onto the ropes. Number three is Carlito, long time since we have seen Carlito. Apparently, Carlito is a tag team champion. Would be nice if the championships were featured on cards, Carlito lands big right hands and a huge neck-breaker on Mysterio. Morrison is wiped out with a double springboard moonsault by Carlito, Mysterio is hanging onto the bottom rope.
Morrison is back up, Carlito gets clubbed in the back. Morrison cannot eliminated Mysterio, number four is MVP who seems like another forgotten man on the roster. MVP lands clotheslines and a beautiful powerslam with the crowd reacting big to MVP, Ballin Elbow connects on Morrison. Carlito takes down MVP, MVP comes back with a face-buster. Morrison sends MVP into the buckle, MVP ducks the springboard enzuigiri. MVP lands The Drive-By on Morrison, Mysterio is on the apron and lands a sling-shot hurricanrana. Number five is The Great Khali, business has picked up ladies and gentlemen! Everyone sells fear at the size of the big man, everyone begins attacking Khali but Khali shoves everyone down and lands clotheslines. Big chops too, Morrison has his hand crushed as he is thrown to the ground. Crowd reacts to Khali, Mysterio’s dropkick has no effect. Khali picks up Carlito and lands a Punjabi Plunge!
Entrants 6 to 10
Number six is Kozlov, two big giants squaring off in the ring. Kozlov lands two kicks and a headbutt, Khali is the first person eliminated.
Great Khali has been Eliminated by Kozlov!
MVP has been Eliminated by Kozlov!
Carlito has been Eliminated by Kozlov!
Yep you read that right, Kozlov wipes out everyone in a matter of seconds. MVP misses a boot in the corner and gets dumped out, Carlito’s springboard attempt backfires as Kozlov lands his Spine-Buster and dumps his out with ease. Number seven is Triple H, Triple H is smashed with a massive headbutt. Kozlov misses a corner headbutt, right hands by Triple H. Face-buster by Triple H and Kozlov is thrown out just like that!
Vladimir Kozlov has been Eliminated by Triple H!
Triple H nails Morrison with his big knee, number eight is Randy Orton. Orton and Triple H go right after one another, right hands by Orton. Triple H gets caught with the back-breaker, RKO is blocked. Pedigree is thwarted by Morrsion, Mysterio wipes out Orton with a springboard seated senton, Mysterio lands a 619 on Morrison for good measure. Number nine is JTG, JTG comes in and kicks everyone before nailing a sling-blade. Shoulder thrusts in the corner, Triple H is almost thrown out by JTG. Orton is trying to dump out Mysterio, Mysterio is using his legs to hang on and almost throw out Orton. Number ten is Ted Dibiase Jr., Dibiase comes in and waffles everyone with right hands.
Entrants 11 to 15
We have a few elimination teases with Dibiase being involved in all of them but nobody is tossed out, Orton chokes Triple H in the corner. Mysterio dropkicks Dibiase in his lower regions, number eleven is Chris Jericho. A sentimental favourite for the smart-fans, Jericho comes in and dropkicks everyone. Jericho wants Orton out of the match, the two had words earlier in the night. Face-buster by Jericho, Lionsault misses but Walls of Jericho will connect. Actually nope, Jericho is almost thrown out by Triple H. Legacy are working together to take out Morrison, surprised that JTG has not been dumped out yet! Number twelve is Mike Knox, big boot to the head of Mysterio. Clotheslines all around, Knox is wiping out Mysterio. Orton and Dibiase talk strategy, the duo attack JTG. Triple H is walloped by Mike Knox, number thirteen is The Miz. Miz lands some right hands and his signature clothesline on Triple H & Mysterio. Morrison & Miz begin teaming up, Miz misses Orton with his clothesline.
Morrison is dropped with an RKO by Orton, Miz is dropped too. JTG is knocked out too with an RKO, Triple H lands a Pedigree on Orton and tosses out Morrison & Miz!
Morrison & Miz have been Eliminated by Triple H!
Number fourteen is Finlay who roughs up everyone with inverted atomic drops, Jericho is almost thrown out by Finlay. Finlay continues to club everything in sight, love his physicality. Uppercuts and stiff clotheslines galore from Finlay, poor JTG gets kicked squared in the face. Number fifteen is Cody Rhodes, Legacy continues to grow stronger here. JTG is stomped by the trio, they move to Triple H next with their assault. Next on the list is Finlay, Mike Knox cannot escape either, Mysterio dives into an RKO.
Entrants 16 to 20
Number sixteen is one man you do not want to mess with, it’s The Undertaker and I feel very sad for myself as I will have to recap how Taker is going to dump half of the people in the ring in seconds. Taker begins punching everyone in the face, crowd loves Taker too. JTG is gone, no surprise that JTG would be first.
JTG has been Eliminated by Undertaker!
Snake-Eyes and big boot for Rhodes, number seventeen is a surprise for sure as we have The Bizarre One Goldust! Goldust waffles Dibiase before Cody faces off with his brother, this would main event a PPV many years later but for now, Goldust is trying to dump out his cocky younger brother. Goldust almost eliminates Cody twice, Orton is irate at his boys being taken out by one man, RKO is the end for Goldust. Orton tells Cody Rhodes to dump out Goldust.
Goldust has been Eliminated by Cody Rhodes!
Number eighteen is CM Punk, Punk is IC Champion and Punk kicks everyone in the face. Triple H tries destroying Punk but eats a GTS for his trouble, Legacy work on eliminating Jericho but Jericho hangs on, Punk runs into Taker. Number nineteen is Mark Henry, another big man. Henry starts headbutting and clotheslining everyone in sight, Henry steps all over Punk. Triple H eats a World’s Strongest Slam! Number twenty is Shelton Benjamin, The Gold Standard is here! Pay-Dirt on Finlay, flapjack on Mysterio. Double Pay-Dirt on Punk & Jericho, Dragon-Whip on Henry.
Entrants 21 to 25
Number twenty-one is William Regal, Regal hammers Punk in some lovely continuity, Regal knees Punk in the head. Mark Henry is on the floor, has Mark Henry been eliminated?
Mark Henry has been Eliminated by Undertaker!
Poor Henry eliminated and nobody saw so we needed a replay to explain it to us, number twenty-two is Kofi Kingston who continues dropkicks Punk square in the face. Same for Benjamin and Dibiase, Knox is wiped out too. Jericho knocks down Kofi after a Boom Drop, Legacy continue helping one another while Taker is bleeding, no idea how it happened but Taker looks like it happened hard way, maybe a headbutt gone wrong. Taker stops a springboard from Benjamin with a Chokeslam, goodbye Benjamin.
Shelton Benjamin has been Eliminated by Undertaker!
Number twenty-three is Kane who uppercuts and boots, sidewalks slams everyone in sight. Taker and Kane stare at one another, they contemplate their next move. It is not good for Dibiase, Double Chokeslam from The Brothers of Destruction. Punk manages to dump out a fired up Regal, nice move by Punk.
William Regal has been Eliminated by CM Punk!
Number twenty-four is R-Truth, might be the first time I have seen him in this series, happy for Truth who killed it in TNA and worked his way back onto the roster and is still employed to this day! Seems people are not sure about the next big spot so we lumber around for a little bit, we have the next entrant coming down to the ring. Number twenty-five is RVD, fans are going insane. Diving heel kick on Kane, clotheslines on everyone else. ECW chants, kicks galore. Mike Knox gets kicked in the head, way too many bodies in that ring right now.
Entrants 26 to 30
RVD lands Rolling Thunder on HHH & Truth before number twenty-six comes out and its Brian Kendrick. Kofi is dumped out by Kendrick but Triple H dumps out Kendrick seconds later.
Kofi Kingston has been Eliminated by Brian Kendrick
Brian Kendrick has been Eliminated by Triple H
Number twenty-seven is none other than Dolph Ziggler, might be one of the first appearances for Ziggler too, Ziggler runs into Kane. Kane tosses out Ziggler after introducing himself.
Dolph Ziggler has been Eliminated by Kane!
Santino Marella has been Eliminated by Kane!
Yes poor Santino comes into the ring and Kane immediately throws him out, breaking the record held by The Warlord. A funny moment for sure, Taker and Kane slug it out before Jericho goes after Taker. RVD is being split on the top rope by his legs, crazy flexibility from RVD. Number twenty-nine is Jim Duggan who hammers everyone with right hands, crowd loves Duggan. Number thirty is The Big Show!
This should be interesting, Big Show takes his time but Taker does not budge. Kane takes the first shot, Show takes down Kane. Duggan tries slamming Big Show but that does not work, one elbow later and it’s over for Duggan.
Hacksaw Jim Duggan has been Eliminated by The Big Show!
Show chops Truth hard on the chest, make it double. Everyone is pairing off in corners, lot of down time for lots of wrestlers. Big Show decides to press out Truth.
R -Truth has been Eliminated by The Big Show!
CM Punk has been Eliminated by The Big Show!
Punk ate a brutal KO punch, Big Show casually dumps out Mike Knox & Rey Mysterio.
Mike Knox & Rey Mysterio have been Eliminated by The Big Show!
Hornswoggle is in the ring, Kane tries chokeslamming Hornswoggle but Finlay makes the save, Hornswoggle returns the favour for Finlay after the save. Hornswoggle leaves the ring and Finlay is elevated to the floor by Kane!
Finlay has been Eliminated by Kane!
Taker & Big Show have a faceoff, no reaction from the fans despite their months of feuding, Jericho moves Big Show so that RVD can nail a Five Star Frog Splash on Orton. Jericho throws out RVD, Taker is waiting for Jericho. Jericho counters and nails a Codebreaker but Taker dumps out Jericho, ending his night.
RVD has been Eliminated by Chris Jericho!
Chris Jericho has been Eliminated by Undertaker!
Kane has been Eliminated by Legacy!
Poor Kane is attacked by the three members of Legacy and thrown out, we have six-men left. Show goes after Triple H, massive Chokeslam by Big Show. Legacy rough up Taker, Taker explodes out of the corner and clotheslines Rhodes & Dibiase. Chokeslam to Rhodes, Dibiase & Orton. Show watches on and we have another staredown between Taker & Show, the fans finally react somewhat to it. Taker and Show trade massive blows, boot by Taker and a massive clothesline. Big Show is booted in the face but somehow holds onto the ropes, Show teeters on the apron. Orton stalks Taker, RKO is blocked. Show pulls Taker to the apron, they goozle one another. Show and Taker are trading shots, Orton RKOs Show who falls to the ground. Show eliminates Taker by pulling him off the apron, they brawl into the crowd!
Big Show has been Eliminated by Randy Orton!
Undertaker has been Eliminated by The Big Show!
Four men left, three Legacy members and Triple H. Orton pummels Triple H, Triple H is lifeless. Orton slaps Triple H and measures for an RKO, Triple H shoves Orton into the corner. Rhodes eats a face-bister, Dibiase eats a spine-buster. Triple H fires up, Pedigree on Rhodes. Dibiase is sent packing to the floor, Rhodes is tossed out too but Orton surprises Triple H and tosses out The Game for the win!
So this was so telegraphed from the production package, no focused was placed on any other man heading into that match. Never have I seen such an obvious winner but Orton was white-hot after taking out Vince Mcmahon.
As a rumble match itself, I thought it was one of the weaker entries. For me, the rumble has to have surprise entrants, feuds coming to an end/kicking off/reigniting and face-offs that we would not usually see whether it be two babyfaces that would never fight one another or matches that would never happen because of the brand split. I think the surprises this year were good, you had a nice little face-off between Goldust & Cody, RVD is one of the most loved wrestlers of all time so that was always going to be a success and we had Duggan getting a huge reaction too. As for the feuds we had in this match, Regal went after Punk with a vengeance, very happy with that. Legacy were a tight unit and stuck together the whole time, no dissension whatsoever. Taker vs Show failed to capture the audience’s attention, they tried it three times and only on the third try was their a reaction, Kozlov and Khali arguably got a bigger reaction from fans. Another weakness for this rumble for me was the lack of urgency, the ring filled up and I expected Show to get some heat by tossing bodies left and right but it never came, it never came from Taker and it never came from Kane. So things kept going and the eliminations came but I didn’t feel the excitement I should have felt or that I was wholly invested in the match. It’s sad because it’s the rumble, one of the most easy to watch and enjoyable matches out there but it just went along until the end.
Winner: Randy Orton!
That was WWE’s Royal Rumble 2009, a slightly disappointing PPV in my eyes from the WWE. Things kick off with Matt Hardy vs Jack Swagger, I am not sure Swagger is ready for PPV after this performance, this relied on the goodwill that Matt had build up as ECW Champion for five months but that is not enough to cover up the flaws in Swagger’s game. This becomes blatantly obvious at the finish, Swagger is just waiting and waiting for Hardy at the end. Swagger even switches side during the Gut-Wrench Powerbomb, very awkwardly shuffling sides until the eventual move. Not a good showcase for the new star of ECW, hoping things will improve in time.
We go next to Beth vs Melina, shock finish as Beth felt untouchable at the time, there was so much mileage to Glamarella so it just seems odd to take the title away from Beth. They had a cool spot involving Beth beating Melina with her own foot bent over her head but apart from that, Melina isn’t the best babyface they have on the roster and a poor choice when you compare to the likes of Mickie James, Candice Michelle and Kelly Kelly.
We move to Cena vs JBL, the story of this one is all around HBK. I prefer this match to Cena vs Jericho because JBL just beats on Cena. Nothing pretty, straight up smashing the champion with hammering blows, their best matches were usually involving weapons and that’s no different but I enjoyed this and fans were clearly into the HBK angle as the fans explode for HBK beheading JBL with a Sweet Chin Music, a nice feud to fill the gap before Mania. Jeff Hardy vs Edge wasn’t great, the finish is shocking for sure and Chavo’s table bump was good but I would expect more from two superstars of their caliber for a NO DQ Match, these are two people who made their names in TLC matches and are creative when it comes to involving spots but this just felt dull. Matt turning on Jeff could be very interesting depending on how they play out the feud, definitely could see Matt’s side of things. Shame the match couldn’t live up to the finish.
Finally the rumble itself was one of the weaker ones for the reasons I had described above, Santino’s elimination is a highlight but there is little more to hang onto for me. It just continues and there are big names in there but it just never takes off, sad to say that about a rumble match but this definitely made me think of the earlier rumbles where the concept was new and spots weren’t exactly planned out, it felt very much a forgone conclusion that Orton would win and we were just waiting for it to happen. Wouldn’t recommend checking this one out unless you grew up in this era. Thanks for reading and remember: there’s always another night!